Looking for French listening assessment ideas? This post is for you then!
You can’t help your kids move forward if you don’t know where they are right now.
Assessing students’ proficiency in key skills is essential.
In this post I share informal ongoing assessment ideas for your French classroom.
Today, we’ll be talking about different ways to assess students’ French listening skills.
French Listening Assessment Ideas
I’ve put together this list in no particular order.
Try using different strategies throughout the school year to find out the ones that work best in your classroom.
You might also want to use the same strategy more than once to notice how much (or how little) students have improved.
Check out the French listening assessment ideas below.
- Ask student to point to objects according to what you’re telling them. This can range from just saying one word to using detailed descriptive sentences. You could have three or more objects on the table (pictures or flashcards would work just as well), e.g. a small red apple, a big blue book, and a long yellow pencil. Then, you could instruct the student to point to an item corresponding to what you’ll be saying to them. Easy version: “jaune” or “crayon”. More complex version: “Ce qu’on mange”, or “On peut écrire avec l’objet dont je parle”, etc. You could also use illustrations from a picture book.
I also like to use sentences that really test their attention, e.g. “C’est une pomme, mais elle n’est pas rouge.” Students need to understand what you’re saying, but they also need to think before pointing to the corresponding image.
In the FREE file I’m sharing with you today (at the end of the post), I’ve included a few images and prompts you can use.
- Have student follow your commands. Again, this can be super simple or as complex as appropriate for the grade/level you’re teaching. You could use action verbs, e.g. “Saute trois fois”, “Ouvre ton livre”, “Prends ton crayon”, etc., and have students act them out immediately after you speak. You could also give out a series of commands, have students listen, and then act them out after you’ve spoken the whole series of commands. The latter would allow you to assess listening AND attention span and memory recall. These skills will be useful, for instance, when students are learning directions for getting around a city.
- Have students color an illustration according to your prompts. Let’s say you have a sheet with printed images of different animals. Ask students to “Colorie le chien en rouge”, “Colorie la vache en violet.”, and so on. You can get pretty advanced with this as long as you find complex images and use longer prompts.
- Have student listen and make drawings to illustrate what you’re saying. Get a sheet of paper and draw 6 numbered squares (or use the template included in the free printable at the end of this post). Explain to student that you’d like him/her to draw something in each square to represent what you will be telling them. Then, for each square, say a word, or a sentence for the student to illustrate. The words and/or sentences should be selected according to the level of proficiency expected for the grade you’re teaching.
To make things easier, use single-step directions. To make things harder, use multi-step directions.
Keep in mind is that you’re assessing listening comprehension, not drawing skills. For the little ones (and maybe for older ones as well), the final drawing might look very different from what you’re expecting. In that case, ask students to explain the drawing to you after they finish it. You might be surprised to find out that what looks like a banana is actually a bunny 😉
Assessing kids as they are engaged in pair work allows you to see how students interact with one another and how well they understand their peers.
In one-on-one assessments, students might feel intimidated by you, the teacher. When they’re talking to classmates, they might display a better grasp of a particular skill that you wouldn’t otherwise notice.
There aren’t specific tasks for me to share with you, but naturally occurring situations in the classroom that you should take advantage of.
For instance, during think-pair-share (sharing time) or buddy reading, you could go around the classroom to see how well students listen to each other. You could also ask 1-2 students what their partner has shared with them. That will show you their level of comprehension and attention when listening to other people and not just listening to you. You don’t have to assess all students (in pairwork) every day, but you should be able to assess them all in a week.
Assessing listening skills is not only about assessing listening comprehension, you should also pay attention to the way students listen and pairwork is a great time to do that.
Some things to pay attention to:
- students look at the speaker
- they are talking at the same time as the speaker
- students interrupt the speaker
- they use listening strategies to clarify understanding
In the FREE file I’m sharing (at the end of the post), I’ve included a “Good listener” checklist you can fill out during students’ sharing time.
I’ve named it group assessment, but what I really mean is individual assessment in group activities. Sounds confusing? Let me give you a couple of examples below:
- Read a story aloud, and have one student retell the beginning, another retell the middle, and finally a third student retell the ending. You could also have a fourth student summarize the whole story. So this is a group activity where you’re giving individual students opportunities for displaying listening comprehension and for you to assess them.
- Watch a video, then ask individual students to answer comprehension questions about what they watched.
There’s also dictation as a listening assessment, but one thing to keep in mind is that it also involves writing, which might make it difficult to assess listening comprehension. If you can get past spelling mistakes to evaluate whether students understood what you said, but didn’t know how to write it, dictation might be another option for assessing listening comprehension skills.
Read: Fun Speaking Game
French Listening Assessment Ideas: Keep in Mind
- You’re assessing listening skills, so that’s ok if your students answer in English (or whatever the first language in your bilingual classroom is) if they are beginners in French, particularly in the first few months of school. It’s common knowledge that, when learning a language, we often understand more (through listening) than we are able to speak. If your students are francophone and/or more than beginners in the language, they are expected to ALWAYS reply in French, of course.
- Avoid interrupting students to make corrections when you’re assessing them because that’s not the purpose of assessments.
French Listening Assessment Ideas FREEBIE
To get a FREE printable PDF that includes a “Good Listener” skills checklist and other printables to help you with listening assessments, sign up below and receive the file via email:
There are many ways to conduct informal French listening comprehension assessments. This post talks about a few.
Have you used any of the activities described in this post?
What other ideas do you have?
Leave your comment below!
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Read: French Phonics Game